Expansion 2020

TAKING IT INDOORS: NPSL ALUMNI IN THE MASL (PART III)

There is no doubt that Jerjer Gibson has used every bit of training to perfect his game.

A native of Liberia, the Virginia Beach City FC alum has taken his skills to the fast-paced, high-intensity activities of the indoor game.  This came after leading his NPSL club to a 6-1-3 record in their first year of existence.

“Playing in the NPSL has certainly helped me get further along and help me develop,” Gibson said. “It’s great to play guys in college and that helps me be the best that I can.”

VBCFC qualified for the playoffs, finishing in second, six points above 2013 National Champion RVA FC. They did, however, finish five points below D.C. United’s U-23s.

The club hung tough with the GBFC Thunder, but fell 1-0 in overtime in the first round of the Northeast Region playoffs on the road in New York.

“We played well because the coaches kept us focused,” Gibson said of the staff that propelled the club. “The team was able to come together because the coaching staff did a great job getting the most out of us.”

VBCFC impressed in conference play as they won their opener at home 3-1 against the ASA Charge, but followed up with a 2-1 win over RVA in Richmond just a week later. The club also racked up wins of 4-0, 3-0, and again beat RVA 3-0 on their home turf.

Their coaching staff is led by Ohio native Brian Hinkley.  The Buckeye has settled into his soccer role in Virginia, when he transferred to William and Mary and helped the get the program into the national tournament. He continued with a great indoor career, but ultimately returned to Virginia to grow the sport.

“With the experience Coach Hinkley gave us, we were able to get better as players,” Gibson said of his coach.

But where the 6’ 1” forward finds his talents best suited is the indoor fields, where he has excelled and looks to continue his craft.

“The indoor game is much different from playing on a field with ten other players,” he said. “I enjoy the quick pace of the game and you have to think fast and several steps ahead. You have to do the same in the outdoor game, but indoors is just another level.”

Gibson spent the 2013-14 season playing for the Pennsylvania Roar of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). As a key cog at the Roar, he was able to collect six goals and an assist, which was good enough for third on the team.

“It’s a big challenge,” he added.

But the Liberian has been able to transition from a life on the hardcourt to the grass.

“Growing up, I played basketball until I was 14 years old,” he said of his youth in West Africa. “I am use to ‘posting up’ guys, so it comes a bit easier.”

Saying that the basketball skills have prepared Gibson for a life of indoor soccer might be a bit of a stretch, however, seeing the athletic goals and his uncanny ability to float in the air to catch the ball with his head seems almost natural to him.

“I enjoy playing indoor. I have not decided where I will play this summer, but I am getting better every day I train.”

Currently Gibson is spending the winter with the Baltimore Blast of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL).  The Blast holds an undefeated 7-0 record and leads the Eastern Division standings. Gibson, 23, is still finding his way, but in mid-November scored a pair of goals in a 27-0 defeat of Harrisburg.

If this young talent continues to play well on dual fronts, the sky is truly the limit.

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